If you’ve recently changed your name, you might be wondering how that affects your property documents, because you want to make sure your rights as a UK land or property owner are protected under your new name.
You might be wondering who the relevant authority is, and how you can let them know about your name change.
Here’s what you need to do - you need to contact the HM Land Registry and update your information with them.
In this article, we’ll discuss what the HM land registry is, why you should update your name with them, and how to do it.
HM (Her Majesty’s) Land Registry is a non-ministerial department of the UK government. It was established in 1862 to register land and property ownership throughout England and Wales.
When you register your land with the HM Land Registry, the government guarantees your rights as a property owner, as defined within the law.
The HM Land Registry office is also responsible for recording any changes to the ownership. For example, if the property has a new owner, it is mortgaged, or in case of a lease agreement.
Once land or property is registered, it becomes public data. Anyone can search the land registry database by address or location.
The government uses land registry data to evaluate property values because of tax purposes.
HM Land Registry is also used by investors. They use the online price calculator to find out the most up to date prices of properties.
HM Land Registry is not government funded. The office is self-financed through registration and search fees from users.
Your land registry document will include the following information:
There are a couple of reasons why it is vital that you inform the Land Registry office about your name change.
Guarantees your property rights
The primary function of the Land Registry is to make sure there is reliable information about the ownership of land or property.
So, if there is a discrepancy between the name that your property is registered under and the name that you’re currently using, it could create complications if there was ever a question about your ownership of the property.
Having the right name registered will protect you from fraud, as well as from any claims of adverse possession.
Easier to sell in the future
Another reason to update your name with the Land Registry office is to avoid any potential complications if you want to sell your property in the future.
When you sell your property, your solicitor will apply for an official copy of the deeds and the title plan from the HM Land Registry office. If the documents are missing, or if the information isn’t up to date, it could delay the process and potentially impact the sale.
You’ll have to apply to update your name, along with documents to prove that you’ve officially changed your name.
Here is the address for the HM Land Registry Office where you must send your completed applications:
HM Land Registry
PO Box 74
If you’re only updating your name, you do not need to pay a fee to the HM Land Registry office.
The specific documents will vary depending on the circumstance of your name change. Any official documents you send to the Land Registry, you will get them back after the record has been updated.
In the UK, you can officially change your name for any reason using a deed poll.
A deed poll is a document that makes your new name official. It shows that you’ve chosen a new name, that you’ve stopped using your old name, and the date when you started using your new name.
You can use a deed poll to update your name at the bank, in your passport, and for other official purposes, including updating your name at the HM Land Registry office.
If you don’t have a deed poll yet, you can get one here.
Alternatively, you can hire a solicitor to prepare a statutory declaration, or a statement of truth, as evidence of your new name.
Once you have a deed poll, statutory declaration, or statement of truth, send in the following documents to the HM Land Registry:
If you’re using a deed poll, and haven’t hired a conveyancer or solicitor, you must also send in the following documents:
If you’ve recently changed your surname because you got married, divorced (and you want to return to your previous surname), or there’s been a change in your civil partnership status, then you don’t need a deed poll.
You should have a certificate of marriage or civil partnership that shows the name change.
You need to send in the following documents to the HM Land Registry:
Just like with the deed poll, if you don’t have a solicitor preparing the application, you need to include a filled-in form ID1 and an official document with your previous name.
If you need to update your name because you’ve recently gone through a gender change, the application process is a little different.
Instead of an AP1 form, you need to use a Change of gender (CNG) form to update your name with the Land Registry.
You also need to send in one of the following documents along with the completed form. They have to be originals, not copies:
Write “Private and confidential” on the envelope if you’re sending a CNG form.
As we explained above, it is a good idea to update your name with the Land Registry to prevent fraud, for selling purposes, etc. But there are also certain times when you must register your property ownership.
In general, you must register when you:
When you change your name, you’re not transferring property to someone else, but it might still be a good idea to update your name to avoid complications.
The process is the same for updating your name, whether it’s your land or house. As long as you own any property, you can follow the procedure outlined above to update the record with the HM Land Registry.
If you want to use a statutory declaration or a statement of truth as evidence of your name change, you will need a solicitor.
But if you use a deed poll, you don’t need a solicitor. You just need to send in a filled-in ID1 form and an official document (bank statement, driver’s license) with your previous name.
If you need a deed poll, be sure to check out our fast, easy, and secure application process.
According to the HM Land Registry website, it takes an average of 12 days to update the registry once they receive your application.
Just like your official documents like driver’s license, passport, bank statements, etc., your property records must be updated after you change your name.
Not only will having your records updated protect your rights as a property owner, but it will also help you avoid complications during any future transactions.
To get started with the process, gather your documents first, especially your proof of name change.
Then fill out the appropriate forms to apply for the name change with the Land Registry, and proceed with the process as outlined above.